Atascadero’s Galaxy Theatre in downtown's Colony Square shopping center is now under new management.
The Galaxy Theatre's lease runs out at the end of June; however, the company announced they are departing early with the business closing on Thursday, June 23.
Effective immediately, the Sanborn family cinema business will replace Galaxy Theatre as the operator, according to Jeff Nelson, CEO of Cinema Square, LLC and the theatre owner.
The theatre will reportedly be renamed Colony Cinemas.
With word spreading throughout the community, dozens of families went to the theater on Thursday to say a temporary farewell.
Stephanie Beem took her three kids to watch "Jurrasic World: Dominion" and shared one of her beloved memories.
"My husband and I did all of our date nights when I was pregnant with my oldest," Beem said. "It was always dinner and a movie."
Karri Root did not stay for a movie, but she stopped by for a bucket of popcorn.
"To buy some concessions to use up my gift cards and my rewards points," Root said.
The Sanborn family has operated the Downtown Centre 7 San Luis Obispo Theatre for 30 years. They plan to bring their experience and local touches to the theatre with enhancements happening over time.
“Mr. Sanborn has offered employment to the current theatre employees, most all of whom look forward to staying at that theatre location,” Nelson said.
Moviegoers hope the theater stays the same.
"Are we still going to have the $2 summer movies? Is it still going to be Discount Tuesdays? Like, what changes are going to be happening?" Beem asked.
Galaxy Theatres, headquartered in Los Angeles, had operated the theatre for the past 10 years.
"We at Galaxy Theatres Atascadero are saddened by our departure, but the decision was forced upon us,” the company said in a statement. “It was not our choice, nor was it our preference to leave behind such a wonderful and vibrant community."
Galaxy Theatre also said in that statement, "We will truly miss not being here with you. Should a future opportunity to return arise we will certainly be interested in exploring it."
Galaxy Theatres CEO Frank Rimkus told KSBY News that they had been in negotiations with the landlord for some time but couldn't reach an agreement. He said the closure was bittersweet as they had made a lot of friends and employed a lot of young people in the community over the years but he is glad that the theatre will continue to serve the people of the community.
"Thank you for the memories," Rimkus said.
He added that people with gift cards could visit the theatre on Friday and they would be happy to offer refunds. Those who can't make it to the theatre on Friday can call the Galaxy Theatres Sherman Oaks office at (818) 986-9000.
Regardless of the theatre's new name, locals plan to remain loyal.
"I’m glad it’s going to stay. We don’t have a lot for this community for kids and families to do, so I’m glad it’s going to stay a theater. I just hope they're as good of a company as Galaxy has been," Root said.
Once available, tickets to attend the new theatre will be available here.